Skol Super


Great Britain’s answer to malt liquor is the super lager: industrially brewed, adjunct-laden beasts that attempt to disguise very high percentages of rotgut under a veneer of pilsneresque refreshment. In my review of Mocne, a Polish example of the super lager style, I wrote:

The problem with this style is that it was basically developed to try and answer the demand for beer that will get you drunk fast, slake your thirst, and cost you next to nothing.

In trying to answer this demand, flavor falls by the wayside. The best you can realistically expect from a super lager, is a beer that will give you a buzz after one pint without making you cringe.

Tonight we had a friend over, and he brought over a delightful selection of swill for us to try, including Tennent’s Super and Carlsberg Special Brew. I reached for the Super Skol because I’d never had it before – there was Red Stripe as well, which I like, but I cannot resist an opportunity to try something new. (It’s a compulsion.) As it turns out, Super Skol is just about as good as it gets when it comes to super lagers. It only made me cringe a few times.

Many of these strong European lagers are way more attractive than they need to be, considering most people will just glug them straight out of the can anyway. Skol Super is no exception: clear and sort of amber-gold with a fairly large, sturdy white head. It smells mostly of corn and vodka; the closest thing to praise that I can give it is that it’s not off-putting. Sweet on the palate with sugar and caramel corn, a bit of odd pear-like fruitiness, and a medicinal surge of alcohol, which makes up almost a tenth of the beer’s volume. Dry and soapy in the finish with a quinine-like aftertaste.

It’s not bad for what it is, really, but it’s still a good reminder that I should just save my money and my liver and drink better beer. The can virtuously orders: “ENJOY RESPONSIBLY.” Is that even possible?


3 thoughts on “Skol Super

  1. Richard says:

    This (Skol) is perfeclty palatable, it does not require any pretence about “nose,longevity” etc. It does more or less what it says on the tin, it is ferociously strong and will get your pleasantly drunk in no time. It is not an offensively bad tasting strong drink – cf Diamond Light etc

  2. Tim says:

    “Pleasantly drunk”? Ho ho, I beg to differ, my friend. “Cheaply drunk” is far more accurate, and realistically that is all most people expect to get from this beer (or from any beer). And that’s fine – but me, I like to get drunk and I like to enjoy what I’m drinking in the meantime, and I definitely don’t enjoy Skol Super. If you do, fine and dandy, but I’d recommend Duvel, only £1.49 a bottle at Sainsbury’s, dry and refreshing but full of flavor, and a very jolly 8.5% alcohol.

    By the way, there is nothing pretentious about noticing that a beer smells like canned veg and rotgut – because that’s what it smells like. Take a whiff. Also, I don’t know what you mean by “longevity,” as I didn’t use that word in my post and can only guess as to what it might mean in relation to a super lager.

  3. Richard says:

    Tim – hey I didnt for one moment suggest that any comments were pretentious – I was alluding to the wine tasting fraternity. From my point of view I can sit with a pint of Fullers ESB for an hour and have exaclty the same enjoyment as a can of Skol the differnece being is that the Fullers will have time to awaken the taste buds whereas the Skol will go direclty to the brain.

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